I recently attended the baccalaureate service for Columbia County students to see a graduating friend. Two years ago I went to the same service as a parent, and I suppose I was seeing it through a set of different eyes. This year I sat in the balcony and I was surprised to see that only 160 graduating seniors combined from Lakeside, Greenbrier and Evans high schools made it a priority to come to a service that is meant to honor God and bless both their life and their commencement as they pass this milestone in their life.
I did hear that Harlem High School chooses to hold their own service because it is so highly attended, and that the different pastors in Harlem share the honor of preparing that service for their students.
I would like to thank both Columbia County school system for allowing the service and First Baptist Church of Augusta for holding the service. It was beautiful and inspiring. I was thrilled to see many of my former students standing in caps and gowns smiling and excited as they were lined up and ready to march down the aisle. The music came from the graduates, and the scripture readings were also meaningful and appropriate for the graduates. The pastor encouraged the seniors and audience members alike to look at their own two hands and start there and make a difference. It reminds me of Shamgar, who started where he was, with what he had, to do what he could do.
I'm not sure if this is a sign of the times, or if people choose to be recognized in their home churches for senior recognition, but I for one found it to be sad that three large high schools and their families and friends could fit into one large church on a Sunday afternoon with much room to spare for the blessings of God on their graduating class.
Jane B. ElLaissi, Evans
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